I am the Dead - Free

Attending free shows at the Fringe is something of a lottery. With over 350 performances to choose from, it’s possible to absorb a whole lot of culture without forking out a whole lot of money. Realistically, however, a proportion of them are likely to be garbage, or mediocre at best. How do you decide which shows to plump for? You don’t pay your money but you certainly take your chance. A forgettable show might only be a wasted hour, but it’s also an hour that could have been better spent.I Am The Dead is a hard-hitting play that questions whether ‘even by death, two people so tightly conjoined are ever truly separated’. If that sounds slightly morbid, that’s because it is: this is bleak stuff, with root vegetables and testicular cancer forming the basis of the play. Despite the morose subject matter, I Am The Dead is strangely uplifting.Written and performed by Jacob Hodgkinson, much of the show consists of him delivering erudite soliloquies to the audience. In between, Louise Enright ably serves as his girlfriend as well as playing a host of ancillary characters. Their strange love affair, borne out of an impromptu discussion about artichokes, flourishes as the show gets into its stride. Hodgkinson is a compelling male lead, slowly drawing the audience into his world of pain, to the point of wincing as he purports to examine his swollen scrotum. This isn’t as uncomfortable as it sounds however - at least not for the audience. I Am The Dead is dark, edgy and ultimately gripping. The chemistry between our lovers is electric, making the final act all the more tragic. In spite of the downbeat finale, I left feeling oddly upbeat, albeit with an overwhelming compunction to inspect my balls in the shower. That’s the power of the free fringe.

The Blurb

A vivid memory piece exploring the tragic demise of a young man who has contracted cancer. Darkly humorous and compelling.